Evolution of bipedalism in ancient dinosaur ancestors

Paleontologists have developed a new theory to explain why the ancient ancestors of dinosaurs stopped moving about on all fours and rose up on just their two hind legs.

Bipedalism in dinosaurs was inherited from ancient and much smaller proto-dinosaurs. The trick to this evolution is in their tails explains Scott Persons, postdoctoral fellow and lead author on the paper.

"The tails of proto-dinosaurs had big, leg-powering muscles," says Persons. "Having this muscle mass provided the strength and power required for early dinosaurs to stand on and move with their two back feet. We see a similar effect in many modern lizards that rise up and run bipedally."

Komodo blood found to have 'superantibacterial' properties

They’re the largest lizards in the world, with deadly saliva that’s loaded with at least 57 species of bacteria to bring down their prey.

And, according to new research, the blood of Komodo dragons could be the key to developing new drugs in the fight against antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

The team used a method known as ‘bioprospecting,’ revealing antimicrobial protein fragments in their blood that protects them against infections.

In the study, researchers investigated whether they could isolate substances known as cationic antimicrobial peptides from Komodo dragon blood – massive lizards the dwell on five small islands in Indonesia.

These CAMP substances are an essential part of the innate immune system, and the team had previously done this with alligator blood.

400 million year old gigantic extinct monster worm discovered

A previously undiscovered species of an extinct primordial giant worm with terrifying snapping jaws has been identified by an international team of scientists according to Science daily.

Researchers studied an ancient fossil, which has been stored at the museum since the mid-1990s, and discovered the remains of a giant extinct bristle worm (the marine relatives of earthworms and leeches).

The new species is unique among fossil worms and possessed the largest jaws ever recorded in this type of creature, reaching over one centimetre in length and easily visible to the naked eye. Typically, such fossil jaws are only a few millimetres in size and need to be studied using microscopes.

Researchers design facial recognition system as less invasive way to track lemurs in wild

 A team of researchers has developed a new computer-assisted recognition system that can identify individual lemurs in the wild by their facial characteristics and ultimately help to build a database for long-term research on lemur species. The scientists hope this method has the potential to redefine how researchers track endangered species in the wild according to Science daily.

The recognition system, LemurFaceID, identifies individuals based on photographs, which helps researchers build a database of lemurs in study individuals over time. According to Rachel Jacobs, a biological anthropologist and co-lead author of the paper, this method can help scientists with two issues: conducting evolutionary studies and aiding conservation efforts.

Giant flying reptile ruled ancient Transylvania

New research suggests that a giant pterosaur -- a toothless flying reptile with a 10 metre wingspan -- may have been the dominant predator in ancient Romania according to Science daily.

Palaeontologists examined the creature's unusual gigantic neck vertebra and believe it was a formidable carnivore and major predator that terrorised dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals of Cretaceous-age Transylvania. It provides the first evidence of large predatory animals in the region at that time.